Before I started traveling, I was the queen of excuses. I made excuses to not travel. I had a bucket list of the places that I wanted to see before I reached a certain age, but I never checked anything off of it. When New Year’s Day rolled around, I would be sad because I realized that I didn’t make any of my travel dreams come true that past year. Finally, Amos put his foot down and said that I needed to stop with the excuses. I didn’t have the choice but to finally put away my excuses for travel and to go for it. I haven’t looked back since.
Here’s the thing: traveling isn’t all about being lucky or daring. It’s a choice. You’re the only thing standing in your way. By the way, I’m not trying to criticize people who are unable to travel because of serious personal circumstances. I totally understand that. I’m talking more to the people who keep saying they are going to travel and all they do is make silly excuses instead. Stop putting off travel because now is a perfect time to start. I’m not even saying that you have to pack up your bags and travel as long as I am. You don’t even have to go abroad. Just go somewhere even if it’s only a two-hour drive away. Am I making you uncomfortable yet? Good! I hope I am. My job is to help you make travel happen and it’s not going to happen unless you ditch the excuses. Let’s do this thing!
I’ve created a list of the most common excuses I’ve heard that stop people from traveling. I’ve also included some of the excuses I’ve made. Let’s take a look at some of these silly statements and I’ll replace those excuses with practical ideas instead.
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1. I Can’t Afford to Travel
This is the most common excuse I hear as to why people can’t travel and it’s actually valid. There’s a terrible misconception that traveling is expensive. It is depending on where you go, but it doesn’t have to be. Your first step is to find ways to save money for travel. Lucky for you, I wrote a post that’s completely dedicated to that and it’s full of feasible advice.
Learn to look for deals. Don’t travel when it’s high season in the destination you want to visit because flights and accommodation will be more expensive. If you have travel credit cards, use your points. Don’t forget to Google coupon codes for extra savings. When booking flights, use flight comparison sites such as Skyscanner and Kiwi.com. They’ll show you the best rates. When booking accommodation, try booking through a website that offers a loyalty program. For example, Hotels.com offers every tenth night free. That free night adds up, especially when you’re traveling for a while.
When you figure out where you want to go, create a budget and stick to it. It will help you determine precisely how much money you need for your trip and allows you to see how much money you will need to save. Confused about how to create a travel budget? I got you, fam. Here’s a post I wrote that will teach you how to create a travel budget that actually works. I also included a free template for you to use.
2. I’ll Be Lonely and Won’t Make Any Friends
I get it. You’re scared you’ll be in a new place where you don’t know anyone at all. It’s nerve-wracking. But, weren’t all your friends you have now strangers at some point too? It doesn’t matter how introverted you are. You’ll find people you’ll vibe with. The people you meet while traveling are just as eager as you are to make friends. Plus, you all share one thing in common: your zest for travel. In all honesty, the closest friends I have are the ones I met through traveling. We have so much in common and I can’t imagine not meeting them. The easiest way to make friends while traveling is by staying at hostels. You’ll meet so many amazing travelers who you can exchange your travel stories with. Another way is to take advantage of free walking tours if the destination you’re visiting offers one. These have always been fun for me and I’ve met some cool people this way.
3. I’m Too Scared to Travel
This was my biggest excuse for travel. I had all of these dumb “what if” thoughts in my head. What if I get robbed? What if I get really sick? But, what if I had stayed home forever? What if I never had some of the experiences I’ve had? Well, I wouldn’t be who I am today without travel. I wouldn’t have the amazing friends that I do. I wouldn’t have crossed so many things off of my bucket list.
Yeah, there are chances of you getting robbed. But, there are chances of you getting robbed at home. Yeah, you might get sick. But, you’ll get sick at home too. Find a way to overcome your fears and don’t let them cripple your travel dreams. Once you start traveling, you’ll realize how silly fears are.
4. It’s Hard to Travel with Kids
I don’t have kids so I can’t speak from personal experience about this. However, some of our friends have kids and they have made travel possible. Yeah, it’s going to be stressful and hard. It’s going to be worth it though. I remember going on my first international trip to India when I was four. I don’t remember much from it, but my family said that I was constantly curious and that my level of curiosity about everything increased after this trip. Traveling will open your children’s minds and help them see the world with a new lens because traveling is a form of education. Just think about your first trip. You were probably very excited and interested in learning. Don’t you want the same for your kids?
5. I’m Scared to Fly
Newsflash: you don’t have to fly to travel. You can take road trips or go on a cruise. If you have to fly, drink some alcohol on the flight and calm your nerves down. Stop psyching yourself out by watching all these documentaries about plane crashes. That’s not going to help.
6. I Don’t Have Time off Work
Two weeks a year isn’t very much time to travel. Maybe you can take unpaid time off or your company will let you work remotely? Negotiate for more time off whether it’s paid or not. If you don’t get extra time off, then consider quitting your job especially if you hate it. When you travel after you quit your job, you’ll have time to figure out your life and career goals. You might do something entirely different when you return. Also, it’s totally possible to earn a living while traveling. Consider starting a blog or do some freelancing work.
7. I’ll Travel Next Year Instead
This was totes me. Now isn’t the perfect time, but next year will be. I’ll have my finances in order. I’ll have more time to prepare. WRONG. The best time is now! The longer you keep putting it off, the more experiences you’ll miss out on. Plus, you don’t know what tomorrow holds. I was lucky to see the Great Barrier Reef a few months ago. As you already know, half of it is dead. Sadly, it may not even exist in a few years. Go now because there’s no guarantee that the things you want to see will exist even in a few years from now. Don’t get into the habit of putting off travel. Once you put it off once, you’ll keep doing it. Before you know it, you’ll be 75 and wondering why you didn’t do it when you’re younger.
8. I Don’t Speak the Local Language and They Won’t Speak English
I’ve traveled to 81 countries and there are maybe four countries where the locals didn’t speak English. It’s not the end of the world because you can use Google Translate. It’s seriously a gift from God. For example, our driver in Kazakhstan spoke zero English. We spoke zero Russian. Yet, we were able to communicate with one another because of Google Translate. We had a four-hour car ride with him and we were able to fully communicate because of this app. We didn’t even need to know each other’s language to get to know one another.
9. I’m Not Going to like the Local Food
First of all, don’t hate on it til you try it. Local food is sooo good and inexpensive, especially in Asia. If you’re still not convinced, you can find a McDonald’s or Burger King on almost every street corner everywhere. There are also supermarkets everywhere. I can assure you that you’re not going to starve.
10. Traveling Is Dangerous
It’s impossible to say that every country in this world is safe to travel to. I’m in Cape Town, South Africa right now and the crime rate is through the roof. Nothing has happened to me thus far. Probs just jinxed myself here. Truth be told, scary things can happen anywhere. Some Oklahomans are delusional and think that anything outside of the United States is dangerous. There was a shooting next door to our apartment in Oklahoma. This has been the scariest moment of my life… right at home. In my 81 countries of travel, I have yet to feel this scared. Be smart and vigilant when you travel. Don’t flash off your phone and camera. Do research on the safety level before you go and act accordingly.
As you can see, travel has many benefits. You’ll grow as a person and make lifelong friends. You’ll have all these new and incredible experiences that will forever change your life. All of this is possible as long as you quit making excuses for travel. Don’t miss out and don’t have regrets. As Oscar Wilde said, “Live life with no excuses. Travel with no regrets.”
Are you struggling with travel excuses? If so, what are you doing to overcome them? What are some other excuses you’ve heard for travel that I didn’t list? Let me know in the comments.
I hope you found this post to be helpful for overcoming your travel excuses. Don’t forget to pin it for later!
Disha is a travel and lifestyle blogger who has visited 85+ countries with South Africa and the Maldives being her favorites. She gets butterflies sharing her travel and life experiences through words. She loves freedom, sunflowers, and long walks on the beach with her husband. She’s obsessed with helping others live a life they don’t have to escape from. Lastly, she makes travel more accessible, inclusive and attainable one trip at a time.